Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The pastor becomes a vegetarian

Say what, not say amen

via William Widmer, New York Times
Earlier this week I was reading an article in the New York Times about changing the health of those in the Mississippi Delta. An area know for its "smorgasbord of things fried, salted and boiled with pork" and where better to find these things than church. 

Since church and food is such a important part of the Delta culture Rev. Michael I. Minor has decided to lead the change of healthier lifestyles throughout the National Baptist Convention. Amen I say. Church kitchens are now declaring no fry zone, the ladies are proving to their congregation that sugar-free apple pie is pretty good - awesome I say. And Rec. Kevin Wiley, of the Seek Well Baptist Church, is even thinking about becoming a vegetarian. Woah, back the truck up. 

I think healthy lifestyles are fantastic. And if the church can change people's mind and encourage that we should all take a little bit better care of our bodies then that is awesome. However, don't tell me that vegetarianism is the answer to an epidemic of fried foods and poor eating habits. 

My meal plan this week consists of at least one serving of lean beef with every meal, along with a plate full of vegetables. I am pretty sure these food choices will not lead to me packing on the pounds and no longer being able to fit into the future sister in-laws wedding dress at the beginning on September. 
Click on the photo to enlarge.
Beef is Mother Nature's multivitamin. Plus, don't forget there are 29 lean cuts of meat. Look for cuts with loin or round in the name to identify them. 


  1. yeah.... um... french fries are fried, hush puppies are fried, cheese sticks are fried (although cheese, depending on the vegetarian is a questionable thing), but a hamburger doesn't have to be, it can be grilled.. hot dogs can be grilled or boiled, steaks can be grilled... yeah I'm not buying the whole vegetarian thing either.

  2. Enjoy your posts Crystal ... but definitely the 'thought provoking,' educational ones! Thanks for continually advocating agriculture! :)

  3. Amen! I couldn't agree more. Love the chart you posted - 'Beef's Competitive Advantage'

    Great post!


  4. Awesome points Nicole. I also think about all the sauces that people pour onto chicken. I'll take just a plain ole well marbled steak any day.

  5. Very well said! I was watching Kathie Lee on TV this AM and she was talking about all the things she had cut out of her diet and was still gaining weight.... it's about well balanced and I strongly say.... well balanced means meat!

  6. I'd point the preacher to the "meaty" verses of the bible! God tells us to eat a balanced meal! :-) Gen 9:3 or Rom 14 to start!

  7. Anita StueverAugust 24, 2011

    I agree with you, but we can't say it's ok for a pastor to promote some aspects of food but not ok to promote another one -- vegetarianism.
    Promoting healthful diets is for dietitians, not pastors, to do.
    We in agriculture have to come to grips with the fact that the American Dietetic Association has said "appropriately planned vegetarian diets are healthful [and] nutritionally adequate" and "well-planned vegan and other types of vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle."
    It's not my choice to be vegetarian or vegan, but it can be a healthy choice. Like it or not, we have to stop using nutrition as a reason to fight the animal rights activists.
    Now I'm going to hide from the coming backlash. :-)

  8. I don't get it, no where in the NYT article does it say that the pastor actually became a vegetarian, just that he was thinking about it. And no where does it say that the church is actually promoting vegetarianism either. I think you've jumped to conclusions here. What's the big deal if he or any other church member wants to be a vegetarian, that's their choice. By putting down vegetarianism we aren't helping our cause of promoting beef. I'm not saying I'm for going vegetarian but I don't agree that this is the way to go about convincing others that they should change their diets to include meat.

    There are some religions, such as Seventh Day Adventists, which practice vegetarianism as part of their religion. Does that make them less of a Christian? We shouldn't be the ones to judge them. I'm sorry if I'm stepped on some toes here, but this gives me the 'holier than thou' vibe.

    It's starting to seem like the attack on veganism/vegetarianism from meat eaters is paralleling a similar situation between organic and conventional agriculture, where each side demonizes the other. I'll even admit that I've been guilty of it in the past. In the end our intention is to preserve the consumers' CHOICE. So if they choose to be vegetarian, fine, if they choose meat, fine. Let's just continue to do our best to put the right information out there so consumers can make the best decisions for themselves. By 'damning' one or the other, we only create confusion and lead ourselves down the wrong path.

  9. Anita & pearlsnapponderings, I don't think Crystal is attacking vegetarianism or saying that it isn't a healthy lifestyle. She's simply making the point that a balanced diet that includes lean beef is JUST as healthy. I'm not sure if the NY Times mention of the pastor thinking about becoming a vegetarian is implying anything. I'd have to say though that the pastor is probably assuming that by becoming a vegetarian, he could go to the next level so to speak of healthy eating choices as that is topic of the article. It seems to me though that if a person becomes a vegetarian, they can't cite health as a reason, because a good diet with lean beef is considered just as healthy. Given the fact that getting a complete protein is easier by eating meat than combining certain legumes, I'd say the only real reason a person could give for becoming a vegetarian would be not health, but that they believe killing animals for meat is wrong.

  10. Pearlsnapponderings - it seems though you are casting a 'holier than thou' vibe by casting judgement on this article. I went back and read the NYT article, and although he says he is considering veganism it is implying that beef is unhealthy. It is wonderful that we have options in out diets, but when journalisms point out veganism is healthier they are wrong. Isn't unhealthy or healthier than eating meat, just another option. I tend to agree with what Brett said.

    - Sara

  11. I'm glad this post started some lively discuss. I will say though that I strongly believe in choice. The article implies that the man is going to become a vegetarian because that is the healthier route. He could achieve the same results will a balanced diet consisting of lean meats.


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